Grants / Projects we are funding

Centre for Local Economic Studies – Core funding

Grant details


Awarded on:01/07/2020

Duration:12 months


Area of interest

Local economic resilience

Themes covered

Community resilience

Core funding for an organisation playing a key role in the debates around community level economic change. The funding is enabling more of a focus on policy and the exploration of new initiatives such as communities in practice on certain vital issues.

What is the issue?

Our current growth model is failing. Over 10 years of austerity have weakened social inclusion with our economic model unable to address issues such as in work poverty and wealth extraction. Deepening problems of wage stagnation, underinvestment, low productivity, widening inequalities of income and wealth – not to mention the looming effects of climate change – are not merely accidental, but the predictable outcome of a flawed approach to the economy and economic development.

And now, with the Covid-19 crisis accelerating towards its peak, the consequences of a state that has become too lean and too mean is being played out in horrifying real-time. New interventionist policies, though welcome, are struggling to play catch-up with years of neglect.

However, positive change is afoot. Across the world, communities and a growing body of organisations are beginning to fight back against political, economic and social injustices. CLES aims to be at the forefront of this fightback with its intention to build inclusive local economies – economies focused on social goals, social justice, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity for all.

What will the project try to achieve?

The provision of core funding will support CLES to scale-up and amplify its mission to build inclusive local economies.  CLES’s work here is guided by 5 key themes:

  1. Local economic development
  2. Community wealth building
  3. Deepening democracy
  4. Excellent public services
  5. Great places

The grant will enable CLES to accelerate activity across these themes, helping the organisation to extract more practice-based learning and do more work on developing local and national policy frames to create a fertile context for progressive practice to grow. It will enable CLES to collaborate more widely and develop deeper relationships with key people and thus build a better network for change. It will also help the organisation to expand its communication activities. By increasing its policy output, for example, the organisation will be able to achieve greater influence over debate and practice, providing further leverage to rebuild local economies that work for people and work for places.

Who might be interested in this project?

Anyone who is interested in practical action at local level to advance social, economic and environmental justice.